With the average cost of getting married today being a staggering £18,000 and also the difficult economic times you might be thinking that you have you to stop or delay your plans for your own dream wedding. Here are a few wedding ideas to assist you in planning your dream wedding day on a shoestring budget.
While weddings on the budget will require some wise wedding ceremony planning and preparation, you may still have the wedding of your dreams, one that is reflective of you and your partner’s personality and style – and as an added bonus, you won’t have to start your new life together deep in debt.
One of biggest costs of any wedding may be the wedding reception which generally includes the venue leasing, caterers, decorations, wedding mementos and food and drink, with the overall cost from the reception determined by the amount of guests in attendance.
So here are some ideas you can use to reduce the cost of the wedding reception: –
1. Limit the number of guests
It is usually the daytime meal that costs the most – the evening even is generally pretty cheap to cater for. So a lot of people working on a budget decide to invite only a select few to the daytime meal, and have a much larger party at the evening event.
Of course you may feel this is difficult to do because you might hurt peoples’ feelings – but friends and family will appreciate that it might be difficult given the current economic climate and your limited finances to host a big event. So let them all know of the budgetary constraints and gracefully acknowledge them and their significance. You will usually find this simply courtesy will prevent any hurt feelings. Where there is any ill feeling, you may have to be a little thick skinned. There is always someone who takes great offence to not being invited to both the daytime and evening events and it’s just part of wedding politics. But you’ll be surprised how quickly the numbers add up and you have to be tough. For our wedding, we made it close family only at the wedding meal with no friends at all, and this made it easy to give a reason when close friends and other family questioned our choice of guest list.
When it comes to the evening event, remember it’s not just the venue costs either – by keeping the guest list trim, you’ll be saving money on cake, drinks, and favour costs. Having a wedding encircled by only the those who have been a big part in your life and will still be a big part in your life will make the day time feel extra special too.
2. Forget the word “Wedding”
I know this is extremely difficult to do as you are really excited and wish to tell everybody about your wedding – even the shops and suppliers you’ll be dealing with. But you will be surprised at how that one word – “wedding” affects the price of everything once it is actually mentioned. It should make no difference if the venue or catering has been done for a party or wedding – why should the cost increase due to the fact you use the word ‘wedding’? Get your initial prices from venues and suppliers based on it being a function – you can drop the fact that it’s a wedding into the conversation later on.
3. Do some of the work yourself e.g. decorating
Decorations can cost around one-third of the wedding reception cost so to help you significantly reduce this price involve friends and family and do the designing yourself. Finding wedding design ideas for centerpieces as well as table settings is really easy on the web – here’s our own guide to wedding table centrepieces.
4. Forget the weekend
Although it is customary to have weddings about the weekend, having it then is usually more costly as venues charge much more for weekend events. So by avoiding the weekend for your wedding, you’ll help save even more in your reception. If you’re giving plenty of notice, most people don’t mind taking a day off work, and for those invited to the evening reception only, it’s not a consideration anyway!
5. Read all contracts and small print carefully
Of all the wedding ideas on a spending budget, this one is perhaps the most crucial to do. This is where hidden fees could lie. Never assume something is included – little things like seat covers and sashes often get tagged on later and they can really add up at a few pounds per head. Get everything that is decided in writing and don’t sign anything until you’ve thoroughly read the contracts. Make sure that you understand when all the cancellation as well as deposit deadlines are and mark them in your calendar. Ask any questions you might have, and if you have to, take paperwork home to see over before you commit.
Planning your wedding on a budget does not mean you need to give up what you like – it just means investing your money in the most cost effective way possible. By planning your wedding ceremony carefully, you don’t need to settle for a cheap dress or function with bad quality food.
Here’s a fantastic article with yet more wedding money saving ideas for you: http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/family/cheaper-weddings